Cameron Fuller
Cameron is a principal consultant for Catapult Systems. A Microsoft MVP (SCOM), Cameron blogs about infrastructure topics including SCOM, virtualization, Exchange and Active Directory. Cameron is a MCTS for SCOM and SCCM.

Have you read OpsMgr 2007 R2 Unleashed?   

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Normally I would not ask this question, but a recent comment on Amazon brought this question to mind and it just won’t leave until I finish writing this. I am looking for feedback and your thoughts on the System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Unleashed book. We have had two comments on the book so far on Amazon (and some great feedback on the blogs including the review from Marnix Wolf, and threads in the forums – thank you!). As a reminder and for background, this book was a big shift as we moved to what I term a “Community Written book”.

In my opinion the first review on Amazon was very well crafted and appears to have been written by someone who has read the book. The second however was an irate response of an individual who does not appear to have read the book and is upset due to the fact that the book is a supplement to the original book. Part of me just wanted to shrug this off because realistically – you can’t please everyone all the time and if I can’t accept criticism I am in the wrong profession. However, I wanted to first discuss the negative feedback which was provided and secondly ask those of you which have ready the book to provide your insights.

The first review on Amazon: ”I have now both the Unleashed books for SCOM 2007 and this one for R2. I was dissapointed with the quality of SCOM documentation available, and the original Unleashed book was by far the superior to any others I had seen. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't lacking in a few things. This supplement has fixed a lot of that now. From handy 'things to watch for' sections and MP guides to processes of how to upgrade your RMS to SQL 2008 (including reporting services,) this book is a must-have for the serious SCOM admin.”

The second review on Amazon: “is is the most aggravating scam by an author/publisher. A $40 supplement to an out of date edition. I am so furious that I bought this book. Yes, my fault for buying a book that reads "Supplement" in small print. For some reason I assumed it would have content from the original SCOM 2007 book. Those of us who installed R2 from the start will have to go out an buy two books for SCOM 2007 R2 costing over $100.”

As a person who was deeply involved in this course of action (writing this book as a supplement) I would like to respond to this criticism:
When we made the decision to write about Operations Manager 2007 R2 we focused on what we could do to address the primary criticisms which had been written about the first book. For background, the primary criticisms that we received on the OpsMgr 2007 Unleashed book revolved around two concepts:

  • The book was not available as an eBook
  • The book was too long/too heavy to carry

To address these criticisms we decided to make the book available as an eBook (I personally have significant issues with eBooks which I have discussed previously). We also identified that if we added another 500 pages to the original book it would go from unwieldy to potentially deadly if dropped on small animals.

Why is this a supplement? This was written as a supplement for extremely valid reasons

  • For those who already have the Operations Manager 2007 book (approximately 10,000 people), a re-write would have made the original obsolete and would have required them to make a larger investment than it would be for them to purchase a supplement to add to what they had already purchased.
  • Re-writing this book as an integrated work with the original Operations Manager 2007 book would have taken a significantly longer timeframe and would have delayed the date that the book would be available.
  • We reviewed the content in the original book and found that it still stood well on it’s own, and that we could supplement it while retaining the original book content.
  • The printed version of the book would have been too large to be usable.
  • Bundled versions would be available on Amazon to decrease the total cost of purchasing both books.

 

It would cost of $100 to buy the books: Incorrect

$40.94 for the OpsMgr 2007 original.

$26.39 for the OpsMgr 2007 R2 book

$67.33 Total book cost

Even without a bundle these come up to $67.33 – so unless it costs more than $32.67 to ship them to you I would say that the criticism is incorrect. Additionally these books are available as bundles which also decreases the total cost of purchasing both books.

What are your thoughts? Seriously this is about getting feedback and constructive criticism. So if you have thoughts about how we could make better books in the future post them as a comment here!

 
Posted by  Cameron Fuller  on  6/30/2010
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Comments


Rod Trent  commented on  Thursday, July 01, 2010  7:10 AM 
From an experienced author - just shrug it off and let it go. The writing business for books is already an area that is max output for little return. And, you can't please everyone. Plus, your call to action is going to be pinpointed to people that "like" you or "like" your blog - so the data you get back will be skewed anyway.


  commented on  Thursday, July 01, 2010  8:20 AM 
Well said Rod. I will remove the call to action on this item and will refrain from any further comments related to Amazon reviews.

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